I love my BCD


I bought a SEAC Sub Muse (click on the British flag at the top right to change the language to English) at Andre’s shop in Simon’s Town earlier this year. I’m coming up for my 50th dive in it, and every time I wear it I am reminded of how much I love using it.

It has integrated zippered weight pockets, and I take full advantage of the opportunity that presents for fine-tuning my weight… From a shallow dive at Long Beach, to a deep dive, I can make quick adjustments during the course of a day. Having a spare weight pocket in my dive bag is a necessity – I have not lost one yet, but it’s possible that I could drop one when handing the weight pockets up onto the boat one day. The pockets click in and out quite easily, and it is very easy to feel when you’ve got the pocket seated properly.

The BCD comes standard with a whistle (black – not so easy to spot!) attached to the inflator hose, and a large pocket that actually expands at the pull of a tab to hang almost down to your knee, should you wish it to. It’s not very easy to put big things into the pocket when the weight pockets are full, but it’s perfect for an SMB, a slate and a knife, as well as any golf balls that you may collect during a dive. The pocket is not easy to see once the BCD is on (can’t twist your body much, because the weight pockets are quite rigid), so I had to practice finding the zip and opening it sight unseen. Gloves make everything harder!

Kitting up in Sodwana
Kitting up in Sodwana - me on the left, Tony on the right, Tami behind him

I don’t use the inflator hose to let air out of the BCD. I am not even sure if it works for deflation, to be honest! From day one I have been using the dump valve on the right shoulder – I just make sure that the little string is lying on top of all my clips and hoses so that I can reach it without looking down. I can also reach the dump valve near my bottom, but I don’t tend to use that on myself (only on others, when I think they need a hand adjusting their buoyancy… super annoying, I bet!).

This is a rear inflation BCD… I learned to dive using surround inflation, and found it very unpleasant. I don’t like the feeling of being squeezed, specially when I am already feeling a little out of breath or nervous. I don’t wear so much weight that the rear inflation causes me to tip face-down on the surface, and I am able to swim either on my back or face in the water quite comfortably.

Kitted up and ready to go on a night dive
Kitted up and ready to go on a night dive

Taking it off and putting it on is straightforward provided I loosen the vertical arm straps fully. This is easy – there are very large plastic rings to grip onto. It’s fully adjustable (I find that I am quite different dimensions depending on whether I am wearing one or two layers of neoprene, and depending on the rate of recent custard consumption). There is a lot of space for octo, camera and other clips, so my gear never needs to drag on the sea floor.

Finally, it has cute pink and purple SEAC Sub lettering on the pocket that’s girly without making me feel like a total naff. I love my BCD!

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Lapsed mathematician, creator of order, formulator of hypotheses. Lover of the ocean, being outdoors, the bush, reading, photography, travelling (especially in Africa) and road trips.

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